Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pathogen strains competing for the same host plant change disease dynamics

08.01.2015

The epidemics caused by coinfection of several pathogen strains in a plant population is more severe than epidemics caused by single strains.

A plant individual may be simultaneously infected by several pathogen strains, each aiming for optimal survival and reproduction. This competition may come at the cost of the well being of the host as higher host exploitation rates may increase host mortality.

However, killing the host should not be in the interest of the pathogen that requires living host tissue for survival.

Academy Research Fellow Anna-Liisa Laine working at the University of Helsinki has an explanation for this puzzling phenomenon. "Rapid host exploitation rates may be favored under coinfection where the strains are competing for the same limited resources. Strains that are playing fair lose to those most quickly exhaust the host," she says.

Anna-Liisa Laine and her research group have been studying the interaction between host plant ribwort plantain, Plantago lanceolata, and its powdery mildew pathogen across hundreds of populations. They've discovered that coinfection by several strains of the same host plant are common in the wild with more than half of the pathogen populations supporting coinfection.

Experimental work coupled with field surveys of infection show that those host populations supporting coinfection suffer more severe epidemics than those where a single pathogen strain is present. A spore trapping experiment confirmed that the change in epidemiological dynamics is explained by higher spore production rate under coinfection.

These results confirm classic predictions of how infection dynamics can fundamentally change under coinfection. The study also highlights how important it is to account for coinfection - which can be spatially and temporally variable - when designing disease prevention efforts.

"Here we find that coinfection by different strains of the same pathogen species completely change infection dynamics. These results are really just scraping the surface of how complex infection dynamics can be under coinfection. In our current work we've discovered that ribwort plantain populations in Finland contain hundreds of viruses. We're now measuring how this within host disease community affects infection dynamics for a wide range of pathogen species," says Anna-Liisa Laine.

Anna-Liisa Laine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi/university/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>